The reuse of oil in China remains to be a serious problem. As a means to save money restaurant owners may illegally buy “gutter oil” - oil that has been recycled. Since 2012 the Chinese government has given harsher sentences to restaurants using gutter oil.
According to People’s Daily, reporters were attacked and robbed on Sunday while they were investigating “gutter oil”. These reporters had uncovered a factory in Hebei Province that was suspected of delivering gutter oil to a plant in Tianjin.
Gutter oil not only faces problems with sanitation but it may be tainted with the carcinogenic agents aflatoxin and benzopyrene. He Dongping, a researcher at Wuhan Polytechnic University, found that roughly 10% of the meals in Chinese restaurants were cooked with gutter oil.